"The results of our study identify a possible new role for one of the most widely used, common, over-the-counter medications in the world", said Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., the study's senior author and lead research investigator, who also is the Floyd A. Davis, M.D., Endowed Chair of Neurology and professor of neurological sciences, biochemistry and pharmacology in Rush Medical College.
For years, scientists have been trying to work out how to activate cleaning cells in the brain to remove waste and potentially slow the disease.
The exact cause of the disease progressions is not known.
'The major defining neuro-pathological features are deposition of extra-cellular senile plaques composed of toxic amyloid beta aggregates and formation of intra-cellular neuro-fibrillary tangles originated from the protein tau'.
Previous studies on different populations showed that aspirin used for heart health could modestly lower the risk of Alzheimer's.
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This time, however, Dr Pahan has shown the proactive qualities aspirin inspires.
The chemical in question is called PPARA (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha).
The results showed that the aspirin medications augmented TFEB - a protein considered as the master regulator of waste removal, stimulated lysosomes and decreased amyloid plaque pathology in the mice. The chemical cascade increases their neuronal number. So while headlines may be now circulating asking rhetorically whether aspirin can treat Alzheimer's, the answer at this stage is most surely ... no. Amyloid plaques, clumps of amyloid beta (Aβ) protein, have always been implicated in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. Also known as acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin is an cheap drug with a long history of being safe for use in low doses, albeit it poses a small risk for internal bleeding and stomach irritation.
"The research adds another potential benefit to aspirin's already established uses for pain relief and for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases", Pahan said.
"Low-dose aspirin decreases cerebral plaque load in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease via PPARα".
A new study has found that aspirin may reduce the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain.